Friday, August 3, 2012

Pam's Girly Bits: Banana Hammock and Arctic Sunrise from Slap Dash Summer 2012 Collection

The moment Pam (of Girly Bits nail polish fame) posted about her newest collection for summer 2012, I was a goner. Any thoughts of low buys and penny pinching was immediately forgotten. As you might know, if you've ever dipped into the black hole that is the world of indie nail polish, these custom mixes don't last very long. That moment of hesitation is going to be weeks and months of regret while you wait for the next re-stock. So after looking at her swatches, I clicked over to her shop and not five minutes later I had that pretty sky blue heading my way (if we're being completely transparent, I also had that holographic top coat called Hocus Pocus joining that pretty blue). Since it's being shipped within Canada, I got them in no time at all. I hopped and skipped my way back home after seeing the package in our mailbox maybe 3-4 days after I've placed the order. (Don't give me that look. I'm sure you've done it, too.) I tore through the packaging and my jaw dropped. Sitting beside my coveted blue and holographic top coat was this awesome yellow that had blue/green shimmer. But then doubt settled and I decided to contact Pam. Maybe I've been sent the wrong order and some poor soul out there was missing her bottle of yellow awesomeness..? A few minutes later, *ding* went my inbox. Imagine my glee when I found out she'd included it as an extra for little ol' me. (Aww, shucks!) Well, enough about that and let's get on to the polishes! (Never fear, the following review will still be an unbiased one, no matter how happy I was/am to be surprised with said awesome yellow.)

The two pretties from the Slap Dash Collection!

These full-sized bottles have a similar size and brush to that of Seche Vite top coat.

The Quick Take

Brand/Name: Girly Bits Banana Hammock
Color: Medium yellow
Formula: Green/blue flecks in a yellow jelly base
Finish: Glass fleck/jelly
Price: $10-12 CDN for 15mL
Seen at: Girly Bits, Harlow and Co., Llarowe, Mei Mei Signatures
Note(s): As of this writing, the Slap Dash collection is only available at Llarowe. I purchased mine at the Girly Bits website but that seems to be down while Pam is on vacation.

The Fun Facts

Pam describes this as "a medium yellow, that lies somewhere in between lemon and banana."

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you'll know yellow isn't particularly on the top of my must have list. This would easily join the rest of my unhappy yellows that only see the light of day when nail art beckons...except it had a secret. One that once I knew would change the status quo forever. Okay, so maybe that was overly dramatic, but hear me out here. It has green shimmer that looks like blue/aqua in certain lighting (usually low lighting)! Maybe the shimmer isn't exactly as pronounced as I'd like it to be. But just knowing that this yellow has something that your yellow doesn't...well, that definitely changes things. I never thought I'd say it, but this is actually a yellow I'm super excited to wear. Now, let's talk about that name: Banana Hammock. If this brilliant yellow isn't enough to sway you, I'm fairly certain that tongue in cheek name will. Doesn't it just bring to mind Magic Mike-esque images? *grin* (Scaling it back to PG now.)
***All nail swatches were done with OPI Natural Nail Base Coat and three coats of Girly Bits Banana Hammock unless stated.

Natural light/No top coat/No flash
See that green shimmer in the bottle? That's the green tint that refuses to show on photos!
(Also, notice how shiny it looks even without top coat!)

Natural light/No top coat/Flash
Love how opaque it looks for a jelly.

Sunlight/No top coat/No flash
Opacity of a creme + squishiness of a jelly + green/aqua flecks = win of a yellow.

Banana Hammock's consistency leans a little towards the watery side of the spectrum. It's not so bad that it's unwieldy but you definitely have to make sure you don't have too much polish on the brush to prevent flooding your cuticles. With this sort of formula, you'll want to work with thin to medium coats anyway. The first coat might look scarily streaky but that's just because of the jelly formula. Add on a couple more and you've got the opacity of a creme! You might notice that there's a ghost of the nail line if you look closely at the swatches but it's hardly noticeable in person. I'd also like to note that the brush works wonderfully with the consistency, provided you don't have too much polish on it. Dry time was average with this polish.

Natural light/Top coat/No flash
Top coat doesn't really add much by way of shine to this already shiny yellow.

Natural light/Top coat/Flash
Hammie says: I'm a big fan of the shimmer!

Sunlight/Top coat/No Flash
Hammie says: You'll think me strange but this makes me crave a mango tapioca cup.

Top coat is pretty moot in terms of shine, but a definite must for protection!

The Quick Take

Brand/Name: Girly Bits Arctic Sunrise
Color: Sky blue
Formula: Blue jelly base with pink/purple glass flecks
Finish: Glass fleck/jelly
Price: $10 CDN for 14mL

The Fun Facts

Oh, hello there. Are you, by any chance, Cindy's more vibrant sister?

What more is there to be said about the glorious color that is (sky) blue? Arctic Sunrise is a stunning addition to the blue nail polish family. The pink/purple shimmer that adores the limelight (unlike it's cousin in Banana Hammock) really brings this pretty blue to life. Now, the idea of a pink shimmer with a blue base might seem familiar to the Sinful Colors Cinderella lovers out there. But let's make this clear: they're not dupes. At all. In fact, dare I say, Arctic Sunrise towers over pale Cindy. The vibrancy of the sky blue base provides such a better contrast to the pink/purple shimmer. To be quite honest, this is exactly what I had wanted Cinderella to be. (Sorry, Cindy.) The name also brings to mind winter sunrises where the clouds are tinged with pink against a blue sky. Possibly one of the few things I do like about winter!
***All nail swatches were done with OPI Natural Nail Base Coat and three coats of Girly Bits Arctic Sunrise unless stated.

Natural light/No top coat/No flash
Check out that pretty pink shimmer!

Natural light/No top coat/Flash
I particularly enjoy the shimmer against the more vibrant blue of Arctic Sunrise.

Sunlight/No top coat/No flash
Watch it glow in sunlight.

The consistency of Arctic Sunrise echoes that of Banana Hammock. It's a tiny bit runny but far from the point that it becomes hard to work with. Flooding your cuticles if you're not paying attention can be a distinct possibility, otherwise, it applies like butter. The first coat also appears streaky but it evens itself out nicely with three thin to medium coats. The brush works well with the formula and dry time is also average.

Natural light/Top coat/No flash
Top coat: adding just a smidge more shine to already shiny Arctic Sunrise.

Natural light/Top coat/Flash
Hammie says: Ah, now there's a gorgeous blue!

Sunlight/Top coat/No Flash
Hammie says: Definitely meets my shine requirement!

As with Banana Hammock, top coat only adds just a bit more shine to an already innately shiny finish.

The Lowdown

I am a huge fan of these new additions to the Girly Bits line. Both Banana Hammock and Arctic Sunrise are unique colors that will, unquestionably, get a lot of love. The quality with which these nail polishes are created echo Pam's superb workmanship. The colors are carefully chosen so that it stands alone among your army of blues and yellows. The jelly finish adds a squishy factor that I'm partial to, without any of the opacity issues. It also serves to allow the shimmer to really shine through. The consistent consistency of the formula between two different shades, albeit just a touch runny, speak of superb quality control and careful precision. The small personalized touches like a handwritten thank you note adds that human touch; yours is not just another order.

As for value for price, it can be a little pricey (and over my self-imposed $10 per bottle limit) if you purchase from stockists. This is why I prefer to purchase straight from the source. $10 is reasonable for a full-sized 15mL custom mixed bottle of nail polish, and it's in the same range as my other favorite indie brand, Cult Nails. Availability might be an issue (nothing new in the indie nail polish world). Right now, only Llarowe seems to have the new collection in stock while the Girly Bits website is down while Pam is on vacation till August 14th. Then the question becomes if you can wait that long. If not, I've heard good things about Llarowe even if I haven't shopped there myself.

Kudos to Pam for another collection that exceeds expectations. In fact, I have my eye on a couple more colors (Hello, Jelly Shoes and Cu Blue) so that should really say it all. Girly Bits is definitely on the rise and a veritable brand to watch!

Hammie echoes my sentiments. He's impressed that both colors are unique (at least as far as our collection and Google is concerned) despite being summer staples. He says the contrasting shimmer colors are what raise this yellow and blue to new heights. The squishy finish just adds even more to the table. Unsurprisingly, he scores Banana Hammock and Arctic Sunrise:

10 Hammie Points!

Yay for the long weekend! Any fun plans in store? We'll probably just stay in and meet up with friends we haven't seen in a while. Then maybe do a movie marathon or two and catch up on our favorite series while we plan our next trip later this year. Fun times! Have you tried any Girly Bits nail polishes? Which one is your favorite (mine's a toss up between Stormy Skies and Arctic Sunrise)? Do you support the independent nail polish movement?


  1. haven't tried Girlie Bits yet. I have tried the HUngry Asian. I long to be able to own Lynnderellas,but at the price point on ebay that will never happen. I wished I had got on them when she first appeared on the scene. You are so right about the Indies,you have to jump on them,the minute you see them,before someone else grabs it for themselves.

    I love your swatches. Banana Hammock makes me laugh,because it reminds me of Phoebe,from the "Friends" sitcom on TV. The one where she calls herself "Princess Bananahammock". I am pretty sure that when that episode was filmed the term was not very flattering to her. It made me laugh though.

  2. Both of these shades are very flattering on you, Carmela! Love how the yellow is jellyish, but more opaque than a traditional jelly polish.

    I've never tried any of Pam's original creations yet, but the more I read your thoughts on them, the more I want to give them a go. She definitely has interesting shades out that you don't see everywhere, and there's something exciting about receiving indie colours that have a personal touch.

    Thanks for your detailed review, excellent descriptions, and sharp photos. :)

    Have a wonderful long weekend!

  3. Oooooh! I've been wanting Sneeze Breeze and Strawberry from the Hungry Asian! She comes up with really pretty combos. Which ones do you have?

    I'm a little (okay, a lot) turned off by the drama surrounding the Lynnderellas so I've passed on those. But yeah, those eBay prices really are something else! I've had a hard time trying to get my hands on Floam but I've finally gotten some luck and have one on its way. :D What other indies have you had your eye on? Sometimes I wonder if the thrill of getting a limited item is part of why they're so popular..

    Oh my gosh! I totally forgot about that Phoebe reference! :D Thanks for reminding me! That was a riot! Thanks, Thalie. :) I hope you get to try Girly Bits soon. They are awfully good. :D

  4. Thanks, Mary! Who would've thought I'd actually like a yellow? :D The green/aqua shimmer is really the game changer. It's even better in person. :)

    I really hope you give them a try. Pam really puts a lot of love into her creations. Might I suggest Street Magic (color shifting top coat, from green to bronze to gold) and Magically Delicious (green holo glitter + gold hex + gold squares) to start with? :D I'm going to put in another order to get Cu Blue (that I'm kicking myself for not getting) and Jelly Shoes. We can do a joint one, if you want. :)

  5. These are so awesome!! I just got 4 of her polishes in the mail today (Arctic Sunrise, Hocus Pocus, January Morning and Cosmic Ocean). I am so excited to wear them!! :D Aw, she is such a sweetheart for including Banana Hammock in your order!! :D

  6. They really are, Ashesela! Oooh, you'll love them all. I guarantee it. :D Which one did you end up wearing first? My money's on Arctic Sunrise. I actually didn't realize that I could use January Morning as a layering polish and I saw someone wear a layer of it over Arctic Sunrise - gorgeous! Pam's awesome like that. I'm just grateful, really. :)

  7. Loving both of these actually. Great swatches!

  8. banana didn't end up looking as nice as yours...being a newbie ...this is just difficult for me to apply......:(

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